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Monday, August 17, 2009

Amendment X: Campaign Fines in Michigan

In Michigan, if a candidates who break campaign finance laws are required to promptly pay any fines that are imposed. Kathy Hoekstra at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports that one Representative who wants to put lawmakers who become lawbreakers on the installment plan.
Some state lawmakers are considering legislation that would help them get out of legal trouble if they violate Michigan’s campaign finance disclosure laws. But why would elected officials be interested in changing the rules to make it easier on political candidates who violate the law?

State Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., the bill’s primary sponsor, says: “I was approached by an individual who won an election and who owed campaign debts — fines for failure to file in a timely manner. The debts came out to — I think it was about $4,000 or whatever.”

When Rep. Durhal found out the secretary of state required prompt payment of these fines, he introduced legislation to let his fellow lawmakers set up an installment plan to pay off the fines over the course of a year. “And if they don’t do it,” Rep. Durhal says, “then that goes back into collections, and they’ll do whatever they have to do: going to court, garnishing — whatever that situation requires by law.”
Watch the full video report at the link.

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